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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 June 25 - July 1  > How can Komei Party call itself a ‘pacifist’ party?
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2014 June 25 - July 1 [POLITICS]

How can Komei Party call itself a ‘pacifist’ party?

July 1, 2014
Akahata ‘current’ column

“As a political party of, for, and by the people”- with this slogan, the Komei Party came into being half a century ago. There was a time when the party opposed the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, but it then significantly changed its stance. In the 1990s, the Buddhist-backed party endorsed a UN Peace-Keeping Operations bill to dispatch Japan’s Self-Defense Forces abroad.

In the meantime, the party repeatedly made alliances with other conservative forces. In 1993, it took part in the non-Liberal Democratic Party coalition government led by Prime Minister Hosokawa Morihiro. In 1999, the party joined with the LDP to form a coalition cabinet, and it has maintained the two-party coalition for 15 years.

Turning its back on public concerns, the Komei Party is about to allow the SDF to use force abroad. The Mainichi Shimbun reported on June 28 that all representatives of the party’s prefectural chapters are opposed to or concerned about the policy shift.

Regarding this matter, Soka Gakkai, a religious organization backing the Komei Party, published its view as follows: the group supports the conventional interpretation of the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution; it is intolerable that a government authorizes the exercise of the right to collective self-defense by approving a cabinet decision; and it calls for holding careful discussions over the issue together with the general public in order to draw a rational conclusion that will be judged favorably by future generations.

The Abe administration is aiming to turn Japan into a nation that can wage wars again. As a junior coalition partner of the LDP, the Komei Party is also trying to undermine the pacifist Constitution, while insisting that it is a “pacifist party” and “prevents” the LDP from going too far.

The party platform advocates “a humanism that assigns the highest importance on life, living and the right to survival”. In reality, they are paving the way for involving the public in wars while claiming that they succeeded in imposing a “limit” on invoking the collective self-defense right. How long will they continue to deceive the people? Marking the 50th anniversary of its foundation, the party’s deceit has become increasingly clear.

Past related article:
> Komei works as accelerator of runaway LDP policies [December 16, 2014]
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